Rotten & Rascal
The story starts with these lines –
65 million years ago this world was a deafening place
There were thunderstorms
There were volcanoes
There were landslides
And there were earthquakes
These opening lines did not create any interest or curiosity in Dhruv . It was difficult for me to explain the concept of time as in millions of years ago when these days we have just started practicing days of the week and today, tomorrow and yesterday. Thunderstorm was though easier to decipher since it rains alot at our place. I have left the work to Youtube to gradually introduce the concepts of volcanoes, landslides and earthquakes for Dhruv is only 3 years old now. Thus every time we read this book we jumped directly to Page 2 skipping the first page.
Page 2 introduces 2 twin dinosaurs named Rotten and Rascal who would fight and scream at each other day and night without any stopping.
The story gives many words for screaming like yelling, shouting, screeching, bellowing, snarling, growling, shrieking and howling. I felt does a small child need so many words to describe screaming. Well nothing to complain about. It might go into the subconscious vocabulary.
The story continues further –
On Tuesday, Rotten saw a fish
Its mine! yelled Rascal and they both dived down.
I saw it FIRST! shouted Rotten
I saw it LOUDEST! bellowed Rascal
And so the quarrel and the hullabaloo ensues between both of them.
Then one by one other dinosaurs start appearing suggesting solutions to help them to get over with their row.
A Triceratops named Slim suggests the fish should go to the one with the best beak and what next –
Another dinosaur comes and suggests the fish should go to the one with the best crest. The brawl turns to who has the best crest.
Another one comes and talks about the fish going to the best swimmer leading to some more altercation about who being the best swimmer.
The most assuming of all is a very learned looking dinosaur with a graduation cap on his head with the name Clever who advocates the fish going to the one who argues the least. Off course the result is more heated arguments about who argues less.
One more dinosaur comes and talks about the toughest and the strongest getting the fish.
Inspite of too many 3rd party interventions, the bone of contention remain unresolved. The fighting, screaming and kicking continues untill the bad boy of the dinosaur world T-Rex gets disturbed and lets out a loud roar.
Rex roars out commanding who is the fattest, the juiciest, the crunchiest and the tastiest of both of them.
Marred by their habit, Rotten and Rascal start heated claims about one being more fattest, juiciest, crunchiest and tastiest than the other. By the time they realise their futile effort, it was too late. The last picture of the story shows their bones lying on the ground and Rex walking away.
Not a happy ending.
Was it funny? No not at all. Or it might fall under the category of ‘Dark Humour’.
Did it silence Dhruv who has recently discovered the potential of his voice and leaves no opportunity to let us know his highest pitch? Well the story stunned him every time we finished reading it and he would run to daddy for seeking comfort from the fear ( Daddy being the ghost-buster and the fear-buster of the house).
3 days was the time after which I stopped reading this book to Dhruv lest he would start imagining how his bones would look like if Rex gets disturbed by his screams and yells.